Fix it all

We’ve been busy.  Ronin (2 years) needed TPLO surgery.  I was fortunate enough to get him into a clinical trial at LSU which helped some with the costs.  TPLO is a repair for the CCL (the equivalent to the ACL).  We have been leash walking him since 3 weeks before the surgery, and we have at least 7 weeks to go. Instead of repairing the tendon, they cut the tibia and change the angles of the knee, plates and screws included.  He had the procedure September 13, and is doing very well.  He’s using that leg when he walks, squatting he does sometimes, but other times he tucks it under.  He’s starting to feel pretty good and we’re finding we have to crate him more and more because he’s starting to return to his wild man ways, it’s going to be a long remainder to rehab…  His first few days home were pretty rough for everyone involved.   He had solid restrooms, but there was some fresh blood.  Because of this they asked that we not give him the Rimadyl (it can upset the tummy).  He was only taking Tramadol, which from what I’ve read after the fact doesn’t do a whole lot for the pain.  The first night home, he was anxious and trembling and it just got worse.  I gave up by Saturday afternoon and added in the Rimadyl.  The stools cleared up and I’m guessing it was stressed (he doesn’t like to be away from us or his brother) and the pain was reduced in less than 2 hours. Thursday he goes in for his 2 week check, stitches out and rehab appointment.  He’s such a big boy we’re spending the extra money for the rehab to help us all out in the long run.  Thank goodness we have insurance.  

Kali has been adopted by a wonderful man.  We’re still working on the poor girl’s nose issue.  She has an appointment with LSU today and hopefully they can figure it out.  She is the sweetest and it breaks my heart she’s had to deal with this issue this long.  I’m still leaning towards fungal by going to LSU, we cut out the middle man since any of the local vets will send us to LSU anyway.  

On the infertility front, I just started a new cycle after 60 days.  I would have started the 2nd trimester this week, or our child would have been nearing 2 months.  I’m dreading November and December at this point.  Way too many reminders.  Unfortunately I have to pick myself up and live my life.  I’m hoping we can get away for the weekend at least once, I need to sit on a beach or in the woods or something and just reflect, I need to be able to let go.  There are days I just want to curl up and cry other days I just want to be done.  I’m just tired.  Tired of failing, tired of being broken, tired of it all.  I have been getting back to running.  It feels nice to be back out there.  Ryker appreciates it too.  Ronin however does not like to be left behind.  Did I mention he’s spoiled?  That’s enough randomness for today.  I hope you have a great week.

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Heart Eclipse

We’ve been busy.  Still don’t have any answers, we go in Friday for that appointment.  We have taken in a foster pup.  She is sweet and was at one time loved.  She also has some trust issues.  She was underweight and had been bred a few times, she also had a respiratory and skin infection.  Since last Wednesday she’s had nose bleeds.  She spent the weekend at the vet and Friday a biopsy was taken of her nostril (it’s only one that is giving us problems) to check for fungal infection.  She takes this all in stride with grace.  We pick her up tonight and hopefully will get some results by Friday (the sooner the better).  She’s up through adoption through The Pit Stop Rescue.  Donations to her care can be made on the website (Pit Stop Donations).  Her sponser is already looking at 1K between her and her partner (brother? Father?…).  Thankfully she was heart worm negative, unfortunately he was not.   I know she’s ready to come home, unfortunately she’ll have to be crated until we can get her started on some medications and get her nasal bleeds under control.  She’ll be taking doggie xanex to keep her calm and will still be on a plethora of antibiotics and herbs to help her through the other issues she had.  I’m hopeful that this will also help her get well enough that her body can start fighting the fungal (if that is what it is) infection.  She is such a sweet girl and she deserves the best life.   

Kali in the mud

Today is also the eclipse.  I’m trying to keep my mind off of what today is, what we were supposed to be doing.  We should have our baby, we should be at dad’s visiting the family and showing off our offspring and watching totality.  But no I had a miscarriage. Instead we’re still in limbo, we’re still waiting, we’re still broken.  To me it’s bittersweet.  Hopefully we’ll learn something Friday.  Hopefully April 8, 2024 (the next total eclipse in the US) we’ll be able to take our baby(ies) somewhere to see.  Today I’m working, tonight I get puppy snuggles from not just my 2 boys but a thankful rescue and my friends dog B.  

But I want to sit on your lap!
I’ll take that treat now, please.

Have a great day everyone.  Don’t blind yourself!

Fixing Humpty

How do you pick up the pieces?  In my life I’ve found that it is easiest to do this one piece at a time, start with the obvious placements and work your way to the much more difficult ones to put back in place.  I’m still working on this one and know I cannot glue one of the largest pieces back until after the WTF appointment the 25th.  I went ahead and put our names back on the donor embryo list for matching.  Almost immediately we received a potential embryo, last time it took nearly 3 months to even get our first donor profile and before we received another my friend donated hers to us.  I was shocked.  This embryo will also be discussed at the WTF appointment since we received minimal information with this profile.  At this point we’re not sure when we’d move forward, but we will eventually.  I am sure that it is a lining issue and that we will need to be above 7.5 for a transfer.  I really didn’t do anything different between the miscarriage transfer and this transfer, so I’m not sure.  I do believe that the regulation between July 2016 and my transfer in November 2016 was a huge player.  That question will be brought up for sure.  I let these embryos down, I should have fought harder.  Honestly until the 2nd appointment all was great so I don’t know what happened and why the lining stopped growing.  Right now I just wait for auntflow to show up and my appointment at the end of the month.  

For now I just put myself back together.  I’m working on my endometriosis and trying to get it more under control.  I am back on the pycnogenol and am working on getting some semblance of a running schedule together.  We will be running the local infertilty run in November called Baby Steps.  Our team is “Are you sure you’re doing it right?”  We came up with that because we are so vocal about our problems and with educating others on what they need to know.  I’m still dumbfounded by people who do not realize what their body does month to month.  I’m even more so when someone has to go through IVF or any other fertility treatment and they still have no clue.  Ignorance is not always bliss and could have saved someone years of heartache if they just knew how to do something as simple as charting.  For many people it isn’t so easy.  Maybe it’s just the scientist in me but I want to know what is going on and why.  I want to know why the doctor is prescribing this for this time of the month and I’m only taking this other drug some other days.  I want to know what I’m looking at on the screen when the tech is looking at my ovaries and lining.  I want to know what that number means, 7.2, 7.8…  What does that mean for me?  Is my lining trilaminear?  I’m ready to be through all of this needing to know.  I’m ready to be holding a child that is so dear to us that our love could start a fire.  I’m ready for the long nights and the grumpy days, the ‘Watch what I learned!” And the questions.  All of the questions.  Without questions you get no answers.  Without pain you don’t get strength.  I hope our child(ren) do not know all the pain we learned through, my hope is that they scrape through learning that maybe that branch wasn’t the one to climb, or that step should have been 2 inches to the left on a trail run.  I know we cannot protect them, but we can guide them and to us that is worth every pain we have been through.  We can teach them how to get through it and how to be good humans.

Broken

6dp5dt: negative HPT FRER

7dp5dt: I feel broken at this point tests are negative using the gold standard (FRER). My beta is Thursday.  There is still time if this is a late implantation.  More than anything I’m frustrated because I have all the symptoms I had with my first (and only positive).  Nausea, decreased appetite, gas, indigestion, cramping in odd places, crazy dreams every night, and waking up early.  Both dogs are stuck to me like glue, yet still negative.  I don’t know how to handle this.  Not only do I feel completely broken, but I feel that I failed these embryos, these embryos that were gifted to us, our friends that gifted them to us.  Was it my lining?  Something else?  Not out yet, just a few storm clouds on the horizon.

8dp5dt: negative FRER Hot flashes, VIVID dreams, waking up at crazy hours of the night and not being able to go back to sleep, extreme thirst.

9dp5dt:  Hot flashes, VIVID dreams, waking up at crazy hours of the night and not being able to go back to sleep, extreme thirst.

10dp5dt: HCG blood test <2, negative.  What do we do now? Do we put our names back in the hat for more donor embryos?  Do we just give up?  Right now I am too broken to think, too frustrated to know where to go.  Both of us are.  My symptoms started late and I was hopeful that maybe I’d have a low beta, but I would have a a beta, not 0.   Today was our due date for our miscarriage.  I should have been holding a child if not already soon.  This heartbreak is too much.  What is meant to be is not an answer, it is not a solution, it is giving up, but what else do you do?  Where do you go from here?  Unless someone knows a way to get through adoption without a home study.  Our WTF happened appointment is late August.  Until then we have time to think. For now I’ll be broken, my uterus let the embryos down.  I believe my lining is to blame, it will be brought up at our consult.

Those who want to know

You know, you can find about anything on the web.  In the infertility world it can dominate your day sometimes.  “I’ll get to that laundry after I read this article on what foods will ensure implantation.”  “Dinner’s done, but I need to finish researching dairy vs no dairy and implantation.”  Talk about time consuming or brain draining, or 17 other problems that you may or may not imagine.  At the same time you get to meet infertility friends.  Something connects you through the years and miles.  You may not understand all their pain, but you understand some and they understand yours.  You can jump on and gripe about another failed cycle and scream and cry and they’ve been there.  Maybe not in the same capacity, but they know. I remember starting this journey I was on a chat group.  Those ladies held me together, I like to think I held them together.  All but myself and one other went on to have their baby.  One woman had tried for 3 years, 3 years of heartache and tears.  Her mother died of cancer and even with her wonky cycles and dealing with the loss, her miracle was conceived the same month she lost her mother.  I remember thinking at the time (in my naivety), “I think my DH (dear husband) would have to put me in the looney bin if we go over a year and half.”  Here we are 7 years later…  So far I’ve managed to stay out of the asylum (somehow).  We watch the kids around us grow and we are stuck in purgatory still.  Still dreaming, still fighting with all we have, knowing that the next time will be our last, then it’s not.  Then we “fail” again.  We thought for sure once I got knocked up it would be it, my body would figure out what to do from there.  The universe once again put us in our place and let us know she’s in control.  Now I approach the FET with donor embryos.  Embryos someone else worked so hard to develop and my typical pre-transfer panic has begun.  I’ll be fine (thanks to meditation and a Hakuna-Matata attitude) by Friday, but for now I worry.  Is my lining thick enough?  It was 7.2 today and Friday.  Why didn’t it grow?  It has a beautiful trilaminear appearance which only seemed to look better today than Friday.  Blood flow looked great in the cavity.  I don’t like that my first transfer cycle it was  7.2, that’s my issue, that’s my malfunction.  That transfer was also a Monday, it failed.  Yes the siblings of these embryos produced healthy beautiful babies and this is completely different.  It would not be IVF if there wasn’t something to freak me out.  I have been reassured and told by those who know a hell of a lot more than I do that all is well.  For now I’ll deal with the hurting girls and mentally get myself prepared for Monday.  I know that the trilamenear appearance is much more important and just so that it is over 7, it will be good.  I had a friend get pregnant with a lining below 7 so that is not the issue, just the stalling out.  Nobody seemed concerned with the fact I stalled at the office (including the doctor).  When I asked about it stalling out they said they see it all the time and it ends in positives.  I’d just rather see that 7.8 I had before my November transfer.  Infertility is such a bitch can’t one thing be simple?!

Calendar Day 1

So today I start the estrogens, aka the hard stuff.  I say that relatively since this is not a retrieval but an FET.  I’m ready to get this party started and live in a dream world for the rest of my life.  Every moment I was pregnant for the entire 7 weeks, it was a dream, the happiest dream I’ve had.  Nausea?  I was grinning ear to ear.  Exhausted?  Loving every minute of it.  Going potty every 35 minutes?  Never been more happy.  I will enjoy every moment this time around even though I know until we see a heartbeat I’ll be guarded.  I know this will work, this is what was written in the stars for us.  We gain new friends (family) and get to raise our babies side by side.  Until then I’ll take my estrace and inject my rump with estradiol valerate.  Bonus, I have an actual office now so no running to the restroom to “shoot up”. It always kind of grossed me out having to do that. I mean, its a bathroom and I’m sticking a needle in my muscles, not talking one of those dinky needles you use for sub-Q, but a one that would give someone with a needle phobia a heart attack.  They use a smaller gauge to get blood from me.  Thank goodness no one in my house has a needle phobia.  Like everything, there will be rough roads but we are ready for those.  We just need to get over the transfer and first trimester hump.  

I had to stay behind because I have to take off too many days in the coming month, but my husband is headed to MO to check in with the family.  They didn’t need the wild boys there anyway, they can be a little overwhelming on occasionally.  I’ll just clean up the house and start figuring out the food plan for the first trimester.  Anything to help out the husband (and me) and keep us from eating out since I have the gluten thing going on.  I’ll need to pick up some containers for soups so that I can freeze them for lunch.  I may even get the wild hair and make my chicken noodle soup now.  I found a recipe to make the “family recipe” egg noodles paleo, which is freaking amazing!!!!  Talk about healthy and still a comfort food!!!  I think it’s supposed to rain most of the weekend so I’ll just have to suck it up and mop anyway.  At least I can keep the small one entertained by the tv.  He likes the pet collective channel.  ​Nothing else I can take them both on a walk in between the downpours.  

Ronin relaxing in front of a live oak.  

Always something there to remind me. 

No idea what happened to this one but alas here it is again.

Today is the day we got our calendar.  Waiting in the room to go back so I can have my USI done and go over everything with the doctor.  The nurse asked the couple in front of us if they are ready to see their baby(ies).  It will be their first visual of their little one.  My heart flutters and I instantly want to run and cry.  I remember that day, that feeling, that never-ending smile.  She’s reading a book about pregnancy.  The joy, the glow the never ending happiness.   That will forever be lost for us in a guarded world until we see that first heartbeat and hold our babies.  I want to mumble a congratulations but I feel myself choking up and I never get it out.  Infertility is a bitch and there is nothing more to say about it than that.  It does not discriminate it does not give s damn how good of a person you may be, how amazing you may be as a parent, it strikes out of nowhere and takes you down, breaks you.

So on to the USI (ultrasound sonohysterograph) procedure.  Once I was ready, the doctor came in and tried to put the usual catheter they use for the procedure my cervix was not cooperating.  I have cysts on my cervix, most women do.  However, one of my cysts is so large the doctor commented about the size of it and bonus, it was blocking the entry to my damn uterus for the catheter to inject the saline solution.  So they switch over to the catheter they use for the actual transfer which has a smaller diameter.  This one went right in.  Quick and over, no fibroids or other concerns to worry about so we’re good to go for our transfer prep.  I’ve never been tested for autoimmune issues or the MTHFR mutation (I’ve asked in the past but since I hadn’t been pregnant all was pushed off to be MFI and not my problem-most likely), I asked again and I go in for that testing Monday.  Hopefully it comes back clear and I’m good.  If not at least we’ll know what we need to do to combat any issues I may have (if any). No matter what we’ll feel better checking that off the list.  Unfortunately it will be around another freaking grand.  Absolute bullshit that NOTHING is covered.  We’ll do anything we can to make sure that we make it to our end goal and I don’t want to (can’t handle) another miscarriage especially if it was an autoimmune issue we didn’t test for. There are many, many things science is good for, this is definitely one of them. These babies are a gift to us and we are lucky to have the opportunity to love them.  Doing the math, my blood test will be on or the day after the due date of my miscarriage. We have a hearing at work scheduled right after we get our blood test done.  Good thing is, these hearings are pretty interesting and I can’t wander around as much as I usually do so resting will be easy.  Dinner and cleaning will be the difficult part, but I’ll just put the crockpot and husband to work (love you, babe!).  I’ll have to arrive at work a little early which will be rough considering I know how tired I was last time, but I can make anything work.  That’s how we roll.  If I get time I’ll work on getting those other blog posts up, I have around 15 to go (I think).  Work has been busy lately, good busy but busy.  Bonus today, I did get to play with 9 month old twins and hopefully I can make it to play with more twins this weekend.